Colombia, Peru, US Conduct Anti-submarine Warfare Exercise

Colombia, Peru, US Conduct Anti-submarine Warfare Exercise

By Myriam Ortega/Diálogo
April 29, 2021

In Caribbean international waters, the Peruvian Navy submarine BAP Pisagua seeks to approach enemy surface vessels without being detected, ready to attack. Meanwhile, in the sky, air units patrol the area to locate the submarine and send the information to the vessels so that they can destroy it first — it’s a cat-and-mouse game.

Some 400 service members from Colombia, Peru, and the United States participated in a simulated anti-submarine warfare exercise on March 15-17, 2021. (Photo: Colombian Navy)

This was the scenario of the anti-submarine warfare exercise (ASWEX) carried out by units of the Peruvian Navy, the Colombian Navy, and the U.S. Navy, on March 15-17, 2021. The training sought to increase the level of interoperability among the participating forces in combined and simulated scenarios.

The missile frigate ARC Independiente, the missile corvette ARC Almirante Tono, and the submarine ARC Tayrona of the Colombian Navy’s Caribbean Naval Force; the Peruvian Navy submarine BAP Pisagua; and two maritime patrol aircraft from the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, took part in the exercise, along with some 400 service members.

“Through the exercises, we put into practice doctrines and procedures so that if we need mutual cooperation, we can receive it without inconvenience,” Colombian Navy Captain Carlos Augusto Romero Balcucho, commander of the Caribbean submarine fleet, told Diálogo.

The exercise also enabled the Colombian Navy to use the new capabilities of the Caribbean Naval Force, the officer said.

“The Colombian Navy has modernized the units and acquired new units, such as the 206A submarines, which have new capabilities for submarine and surface unit detection, as well as strategic surface units such as the corvette ARC Almirante Tono, which was acquired last year [2020] and has differential anti-submarine warfare capabilities that make it very important for the exercises and missions that we carry out in the Navy,” Capt. Romero said.

 

The Colombian Navy has modernized the units and acquired new units, such as the 206A submarines, which have new capabilities for submarine and surface unit detection, as well as strategic surface units such as the corvette ARC Almirante Tono, which was acquired last year [2020] and has differential anti-submarine warfare capabilities that make it very important for the exercises and missions that we carry out in the Navy,” Colombian Navy Captain Carlos Augusto Romero Balcucho, commander of the Caribbean submarine fleet.

 

This is the second time that the ASWEX, which the Colombian Navy organizes since 2017, has been conducted trilaterally. The exercise took place the day after the conclusion of the Diesel-Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI), a training exercise that the U.S. Navy carries out along with Latin American countries to support their diesel-electric submarine operations and strengthen fleet readiness off the U.S. eastern coast.

“These operations are part of international cooperation, and they raise the level of interoperability between navies. They have enabled us to continue operating with a navy like the U.S., with a high level of capabilities,” Capt. Romero concluded.

Share